GIFFORDS Law Center to Represent San Diego County in Lawsuit Against Major Ghost Gun Company

News Date

San Diego County filed a lawsuit on behalf of the People of California against a major ghost gun company: Defense Distributed and related entities Ghost Gunner, Inc. and Coast Runner, Inc. The County is being represented by GIFFORDS Law Center, the legal arm of the national gun safety group GIFFORDS, and by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP on a pro bono basis. The lawsuit alleges Defense Distributed has been illegally marketing and selling a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling machine designed to manufacture guns—initially called the Ghost Gunner—to people who are not licensed to manufacture guns.  

Defense Distributed was previously barred from selling the Ghost Gunner in California, but rather than stop sales, it rebranded as the “Coast Runner” and continued to sell the illegal CNC machine in California. 

This lawsuit is part of GIFFORDS Law Center’s ongoing work to hold the gun industry accountable.

Billy Clark, Senior Litigation Attorney, GIFFORDS Law Center:

“Changing an illegal gun-making machine’s name and paint color doesn’t make it legal. Defense Distributed, Ghost Gunner, and Coast Runner have not hidden that this banned machine is used to make guns. In fact, they showed it off at the gun industry’s SHOT show, the largest firearms trade show in the country run by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry’s trade association. We’re proud to have partnered with San Diego County and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP to stop these reckless companies from selling their product that will endanger the lives of Californians.”

Supervisor Lawson-Remer, Vice Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors:

“Egregious actions by a greedy company to evade California gun laws will not be tolerated. It is in the best interest of San Diego County families and children to do everything legally possible to stop Defense Distributed from producing and selling these ghost gun manufacturing devices. I truly thank GIFFORDS Law Center for its partnership in this lawsuit. Together we are working to keep people  safe, and hold manufacturers of these horrible gun-making machines accountable.”  


For 30 years, the legal experts at GIFFORDS Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have been fighting for a safer America by researching, drafting, and defending the laws, policies, and programs proven to save lives from gun violence.